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Olympus 12-40mm and 14-150mm lens reviews.


ThePhoBlographer (Click here) tested the new Olympus 12-40mm lens and writes:

What makes the lens so special is not only its excellent image quality which we can’t harp on enough, but the size, build quality, and speed in focusing…we can only give the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 our highest recommendation–and it is every bit deserving of our Editor’s Choice award for best mirrorless camera zoom lens.

ePhotozine (Click here) tested the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f/4-5.6

Superzoom lenses are not usually known for delivering excellent quality images, and are instead, normally considered a bit of a compromise. This 14-150mm lens from Olympus bucks that trend, delivering excellent sharpness in the centre of the frame throughout the zoom range. This is achieved in a lightweight, compact design that doesn’t compromise on convenience either.

Preorder Links:
Dedicated page at Amazon.
Olympus E-M1 body at Amazon, Adorama and BHphotoAmazon DE (via DL), Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL), WexUK, Topshot FI, CameraWorldUK.
Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, AmazonDE (viaDL), Amazon ES (via DL).
Olympus E-M1 with 12-40mm Lens kit at Amazon DE (via DL), WexUK and CameraWorldUK, Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL).
Olympus E-M1 with 12-50mm Lens kit at Amazon DE (via DL), WexUK, CameraWorldUK, Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL).
Olympus EP-13 Eyecup for E-M1 at Adorama and BHphoto.
Olympus HLD-7 Battery Grip for E-M1 at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto.
Olympus LC-62D Metal Front Lens Cap for 12-40mm at Adorama and BHphoto.
Olympus LH-66 Lens Hood for 12-40mm at Adorama and BHphoto.

  • Zo

    To bad the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f/4-5.6 does not have a constant f/4 aperture. This would have made it a perfect lens.

    • Anonymous

      constant f4 or f4-5.6 – it hardly seems to matter?

      the ePhotozine review on the 14-150 is very positive overall – too positive perhaps?
      Has anyone compared it to the new Pana 14-140 3.5-5.6 – I wonder which one to get?

      • spam

        Photozone have a test of both the old Panasonic 14-140 and the Olympus 14-150. They consider the 14-140 to be the clear winner overall. Then new 14-140 is at least as good optically as the old, slightly brighter and much smaller and lighter. It also has built in IS which is an advantage for anyone with Panasonic bodies. The only reason I can see for the 14-150 is the price, there has been quite a few good deals on the 14-150 lately.

        • Al

          I have both, as I intended to swap my 14-150 for the 14-140 (since all my other zooms are Pany, and I wanted them all to have zoom rings that turn the same way)

          I’ll end up selling the 14-140, because in my shots, the 14-150 just beats it across the board.

          If the new 14-140 ever gets down to the used price of the old one, I might consider it.

      • Hubertus Bigend

        True, the ePhotoZine result is too positive, their results generally are. The sample images show ridiculously low sharpness at the edges and in the corners. As a rule of thumb, I think, a lens that isn’t, by their standards, “excellent” across the frame, isn’t really worth considering.

    • Would be nice but to be a constant f/4, it would be bigger and pricier. At 150mm, the aperture diameter needs to be more than 10mm wider.
      Anyway, I have the 14-150mm for a while now and find it to be a good versatile and relatively compact lens. Maybe a mft version of the 12-60 as a middle tier between the 14-150mm and 12-40/2.8? But that would seem redundant especially if you consider the price of the 12-40 at being $999, not a too big of big gap from the Pany/Only 14-150.

  • Well, I am looking for reasons to get the Olly 12-40/2.8. But with the 14/2.5, 20/1.7 and 45/1.8, I really can’t see a huge net gain. For me, the E-M1 with the 40-150/2.8 is what I need now, for kids sports. But I will have to wait until Christmas 2014 for that!

    Guess I should buy a cheap DSLR with a 55-200 in the meantime.

    • bill
      • Al

        I love my 12-35 and 35-100 Panys. One on each of my OM-Ds makes a light and effective wedding kit.

    • I used to thought so , but consider all of this ,that the lens built quality is a top notch, weather sealed,pull down clutch for manual focus, have closed focus [0.2m]its like only 5cm from the lens hood,,.optically superb,.from other crossed reviewed they said it extremely sharp across the frame , nice bokeh, beautiful color rendering,almost no visible CA .i think this lens is optically better than, F2/12mm, F2.5/14mm lumix, also 19mm &30mm Sigma, F1.8/17mm MZD, F1.7/20mm lumix,BUT for the 25mm PL and 45mm MZD,,I”MM NOT SURE.because both lens have they own characteristic and different rendering, but in summary,.this lens it worth to replace at least 5 lens include the F2/12mm in optically quality.

      this lens is not just the best zoom in any m43 zoom but also can rival the pro F2.8 zoom from FF territory

  • bill

    The 12-150 is an entirely different class of lens, great to use when you don’t know the distance of the subject ahead of time but trades a lot of resolution and aperture for that longer reach.

    • bill

      This is in reply to zo

      • Zo

        That does not explain why my lens needs to get darker at the far end of the zoom.

        My point regard a constant f/4 is to have the a nice soon with the f/2.8 price and then use ISO to compensate. This would perfect for most photographers. And yes, there is a difference between f/4 and 5.6 in shutter speed which is needed on the long end

        • A constant aperture zoom needs to have a larger front element, and is generally larger overall, and always more expensive.

          • Zo

            Page 52 of the August PopPhoto Magazine. Canon, Nikon, sigma, etc. have all developed lenses that have been released or will be released that are smaller, lighter than their f/2.8 counter parts with constant f/4 and 1/3 or more less cost.

            I bet they could give you the same size lens with a constant f/4 on m4/3rds

            There is a missed opportunity here for 3rd party lens providers. A series of f/4 midrange zooms would be a sales boon. Cost effective lenses at just below pro apertures would be a hit.

  • Heino

    Why those samples on 12-40 review are so grainy?

    • bill

      My browser wouldn’t render the full size images…perhaps a problem with the files?

    • Jerome LaPlume

      It’s the standard Olympus render i think, mine pics token with Omd and various lenses had the same grain.

    • Heino, take off your shades!

  • Paul Latouche

    “Overall though, one of this lens’s key strengths is its sharpness. And we believe that it is sharper than Panasonic’s 12-35mm f2.8.”

    I think that these lenses deserve a more thorough comparison. Maybe lensrental, DXO, photozone would help. Or any random blogger that cared to buy and test both at the same time.

    • Phred

      …just on look at the Oly and you can just tell it is a quality lens.
      I plan on buying one..but I may wait until the 12-40mm comes as a kit with the M1 in the US and then just sell my OMD E-M5 & grip and buy the kit. Hopefully Oly will offer the it by the time the 12-40mm becomes available here.

  • Kevin

    Contrary to what phoblographer says, I don’t expect the majority of people picking this lens up to be pros. I can see plenty of hobbyists who’re used to carrying around a number of primes ditching a few of those for the convenience of this zoom.

    I’m curious to see how it handles on a smaller body, especially compared to the panasonic 12-35. At 382g, the Olympus is nearly as heavy as another m43 camera body, and noticeably heavier than the panasonic.

    • spam

      If phoblographer is right and 12-40 sells mostly to pros then Olympus wont sell many. mFT is mainly an amateur system so far and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. I’m sure E-M1 is a good camera and 12-40 a good lens, but it takes a lot more to get pros to abandone their Canons and Nikons and switch system.

      • M

        I think, there should also be some zoom lenses between the normal zooms and the pros, like the FT 14-54, for 550, 600 $.

        • Anonymous

          If sigma could bring its 17-70/2.8-4 (450 €) or its 17-50/2.8 (600€), that would bring a viable alternati ve with nice focal range on m43 (35-140 or 35-100)…

    • I believe that one of the reason people use primes than zoom ,.is because there is none one good enough Lens to replace the IQ of the primes,.but i see the extraordinary of this lens 12-40,.having the advantage of Build quality and weather sealed, which is you can not find in any M43 primes, also , is extremely sharp across the frames,.,.in combination with E-M1,.which is give us 1-1/3 stop faster from both combination of High ISO and better IBIS over E-M5,.it will be a killer combo in any condition,.plus the extra 5mm more length than panny 12-35

      • I find the convenience of a good zoom appealing, but am reluctant to give up the shallow DOF available from my 20/1.7 and 45/1.8. For the money, I’m tempted to get the Olly 9-18, and forego the 14/2.5 for most purposes.

        Don’t get me wrong, I think if I was starting in m43 I would get the 12-40 in a heartbeat, it sounds like a
        very fine But I’m used to my primes now, and their combined weight and real-estate in my camera bag is about the same as the zoom.

        • Damn Oly


          Yep you are right , as i a long time user of M43 i am since E-P1&GF1 released, and was just intended M43 as substitute for my daily pictures but now got caught up with most of primes, and now heavily invested to it rather than my nikon D300-D700-600.

          Say it i got doped by the quality of M43 glass more than my DSLR glass, and there was none of the zoom that can compared with, even though Panny came up with 12-35/f2.8 ,i had never convinced to own it .

          But now have read some review of this lens , it really itch me to buy this lens,. Noted that , I already have 12mm, 17mm, 20mm, 25 PL both D/DG, and 45mm PL macro also 45/1.8 MZD, not include 14-54mk II and is gonna be very tough decision to make .

          If i have that 12-40 it really suit me perfectly for my photography style and it wiil be more less lenses i have to carry with. For right now i always carry E-P5 mounted 12mm swap with 17mm and E-M5 swap between 1.8/45&1.8/75mm. Plus another two lens(1.4/25&7-14) in my bag, so its total like 6 lens .
          But with12-40 mounted on E-M1 which can replace variable FL from 12-40, i would only need 3 more lens 1.4/25mm , 1.8/75 and Lumix 7-14 on my bag with xtra FL600 flash.

  • Enzojz

    Its still HG level lens, its microcontrast doesn’t match up with 14-35 or 7-14

    • Anonymous

      And it’s the same price as the HG lenses, so to be expected.
      For most people the difference between the Oly SHG and HG lenses aren’t worth the extra money or extra weight.

  • luisgongora

    the phoblographer could be the worse reviewer on the internet, images are so bad … i mean a blogger he cold be a photographer, not.

    • kavat

      +1000 Chris gampat sucks!
      Superb lens!

  • I have the 14mm, 20mm and 45mm primes. And I still have the original 12-60 zoom lens.

    The new 12-40 looks nice, but too redundant for me. But with the E-M1 (and later m43 cameras with the same 43 compatibility), I’d seriously consider the 14-35 f2 lens instead. That lens would be a replacement to all my primes.

    • I know it’s only part of the picture, but our three primes total 271g, vs 382g for the 12-40/2.8 and 900g (+ adaptor) for the 4/3 14-35/2.0.
      The upcoming 40-150/2.8 will be a different story for me. There’s no practical equivalent for that lens so far.

      • Enzojz

        consider 50-200 SWD, having given the quality of 12-40mm, I am sure it will be the same level of that lens, perhaps a little ligher.

        • I think you’re probably correct. I expect the 40-150/2.8 will be a bit over twice the weight of the 12-40/2.8, about 800g or so, including the tripod collar. Hopefully no heavier than that!

          • Enzojz

            That’s exactly my expection of 40-150, with same sharpness and resolution, plus a better bokeh it will be a little better than 50-200SWD.

    • If you’re getting the E-M1, and can handle a bit of weight, the 14-35mm f/2 would be a good option for you. The point of the 12-40 is that it would give you comparable (based on reviews to date) image quality with smaller size / lower weight, while retaining weather-sealing (but at the cost of optical speed). Oh, and the 12-40 will cost you half as much.

      So the trade is…

      * 12-40 — one stop slower optically, but smaller / lighter / cheaper, and will work on any micro-4/3 body
      * 14-35 — faster optically, but bigger / heavier / more expensive, requires E-M1 (of the micro-4/3 bodies)

      My personal annoyance with the micro-4/3 primes to date is that so few of them are weather sealed (and it always seems to rain when we travel).

      • teros

        Some more points for 12-40 are that it has a wider range (2mm and 5mm respectively, it may seem small difference but it really isnt) and it has better AF (based on reviews to date).

      • Markthetog

        You are hanging out in the rain taking pictures? Most photographers I know hide inside, cover their cameras with a raincoat or plastic bag or whatever but never stand in the rain getting the camera wet.

        • stu5

          I have been sent out in the rain before to take photos of an event and the last thing you have time to do on paid work is mess around with plastic bags. The time spent doing that you could be missing photos and in this case I would of.

          Last year I could see another pro photographer at an outside event struggling because it had started to rain hard with a camera that was not sealed. Grabbed her umbrella from her bag and covered her until she got all her shots. Again she was not in a position to use bags.

        • Anonymous

          News doesn’t wait for the rain to stop, and doesn’t give you time to get those bags.

          Events typically don’t happen only with nice weather, and the more interesting things often do happen when it starts to rain, again leaving you no time to fiddle with bags and stuff.

          That you don’t encounter those situations, could be, totally depends on your photography and on why you are taking pictures. For people like me, the weather sealing is actually very valuable, so much so that the price difference between say a G6 (non sealed) and GH3 (sealed) is a total non-issue, as it can be earned back in a mere few shoots that you’d have to miss out on with the non-sealed camera.

  • Juan Schmidt

    Why are these m43 lenses so darn expensive?

    • In this case, the price is not unusual.

    • C. C.

      Because they are so damn good. These are not toys.

    • Anonymous

      Because there is a market for them at those prices.

      • NO, THEY’RE NOT.

        True to a point, the 25mm is more than the Canon 1.4, but You’re also paying for the “Leica” branding. As for the others, I think they’re too expensive.

        I don’t think any prime for M43 should be over $500.00, max.

    • No, Juan has a point with some of the primes for m43 like the Lumix 25mm being much more expensive than their APSC and FF counrterparts.

      But he’s actually off with this zoom lens. It’s not cheap but neither are the alternatives on other systems.

      • josef

        I think the biggest hole in the m4/3 system at the moment is the lack of the customary low-price normal prime that almost every system has.

        Just a basic 25mm f1.8 or f2 for $200-250.

        • JimD

          You are very right. Oly Pant have the pany 25 1.4 and thats about it unless you go manual and exotic.
          What’s needed to get converts is a nice 25mm that matches the Nikon 50mm 1.8 lenses for quality and price. That’s what newbies will expect.
          We have Oly and Pany et all falling over themselves to make a 42.5 lens. Now lets face it, who the hell wants a 42.5mm lens? Its a very low potential seller yet all and sundry want too make one.
          Ok, some will want one but most of the readers here say WHY?
          So why not a mid focal length range of f1.8 and f2 lenses, bigger market, less R&D, lower mfg cost, far far better acceptance.
          I use the old and ancient pen 1.8 38mm and Ultron 28mm. I would love an AF version of these along with a 25mm 1.8. But 42.5 you gotta be joking.

    • Shenkie

      Yep to expensive. The lenses are ok but the quality does not matter as long if they are put in front of a tiny sensor. You still get noisy, small and very digital pictures.

      • stu5

        If you stick a really poor quality lens on a FF camera it is going to produce poor quality photos regardless of the size of the sensor. Ask any experienced professional photographer and they will tell you it is all about the glass. Even if the photo is used at a small size poor glass will still show up.

      • Liam

        Very digital??? I get all digital all the time! Except when I am shooting film of course :D

      • Fish

        You told us two days ago that you were shooting with a d700, XE1 and EM5 together. Please post a link to the comparison photos you took. (and to think you actually told another poster to “stop telling lies”)

  • ken666

    There is reason why the Pany 25mm F1.4 M43 lens is more expensive the APSC and FF counterparts

    Go to SLR Gear and check out the reviews of the following lens at F1.4

    Canon 50mm F1.2L USM and F1.4 USM, Nikon 50mm F1.4D AF and 50mm F1.4G AF-S,

    You will find that the Pany M43 lens is by far the sharpest at F1.4.

    It is your choice into which system you buy into.

    Value for money the Pany lens.

    • Shenkie

      You mean at 1.4 its sharper but actually its 2.8 in comparison with FF. So thats cheating. And indeed thats something m43 is very good at. So stop telling lies.

      • Michael

        You’re right in terms of bokeh. But f/1.4 on M43 is as fast as f/1.4 on FF.

      • stu5

        It is not cheating. Working on that view and FF is cheating when compared to medium format, which is then cheating compared to 5×4 which is then cheating compared to 10×8. The lens still needs to be designed to work well on the format is is being used on. I use formats up to 10×8 and it has never been considered to be cheating when it comes to lens design when designing for a smaller format that happens to be sharper. It is just down to good lens design and good choice of glass.

      • NikonShooter

        You stop telling lies you damn troll.

        1.4 is 1.4 and bokeh these days is a crutch for bad photographers.

        So STFU and GTFO!

        • Nikon shooter Not !!!

          My my hormones playing up nonNIKONSHOOTER weren’t you going to post a link to some of your shots taken with the D800.But you cant can you as you are a sad mFT shooter who has never used any FF gear

      • @Skankie……you obviously have no interest in buying into m43, so why are you here? Obviously to troll, but what deeper motivation do you have?

        Do you need a big sensor to compensate for a small part of your anatomy? Do you need a shallow DOF to hide your friends pimples? Or have you recently been sacked for wasting your bosses time surfing, so you wander around the internet, annoying adults?

        Whatever your motivation, you say more about your tiny mind than your massive sensor. Hope you gain some satisfaction from your trolling, because it’s obvious you have little else going for you.

        But it would be a lot more interesting here if you were to wander off and find another bridge to rot under.

        • Fish

          My theory is that shenkie is actually a m4/3 fanboy – it’s the only thing that makes sense. Whoever they are they have made up a strawman identity to try and portray non-m4/3 users as idiots. It would be just like if I was a fan of brand x and made a profile name and wrote a bunch of stupid and insulting things about brand x. I (just like shenkie) wouldn’t change anyone’s mind about brand x, but it would make people think that fans of brand y are donkeys. The net result is that people feel better about being a user of x.

          The net results of shenkie’s posts only make people more confident in their choice of m4/3 as a format. Even though it is not fair to portray ff and aps-c users as measurebators and sheep blinded by advertising – I’m convinced that is what the “shenkie posts” are attempting to do.

          • Anonymous

            you know – I think you’re right.

            I mean seriously, I have no interest in CaNikon cameras so I’m not gonna waste my time on their forums.

            Trolls on here actually being m43 fanboys that misportray users from other systems, sounds like the most logical explanation.

            They’re still twats.

          • Shenkie

            No i am not a fanboy. The wife and my two little girls use m43. They like the point and shoot style and only use it fore facebook mostly. They now use em5 and going to buy em1. So yes i have got plenty of stuff to compare. I and the little girls can clearly see the diffrence in quality comparing m43 with apsc and FF. I find it misleading and very funny when fangirls at this forum try to convince thereselfs that m43 has the same picture quality as apsc or FF. It just so funny.

            • Anonymous

              Show us pics you took with all your gear (m43, APSc and FF) from the same spot or you’re just a liar.

              • Please calm down Anonymous. The only people who are liars here are the ones like you who keep telling themselves that M43 can compete with apsc and ff in the picture quality department. Please keep it real.

                • Anonymous

                  Thanks for making my point: you’re a liar since you don’t own FF, APSc and m43…
                  You are only words… Bad words.

      • Anonymous

        It is equivalent in DOF and light gathering to a F2.8 lens on a FF sensor. But that does not make the lens F2.8.
        As the smaller sensor requires more enlargement for an equivalent photo then the lens has to be better.
        That’s the main reason m43s lens are more expensive and better than their FF equivalents. They have to be to get equal resolution.
        So you make your choice.
        Smaller, lighter and more expensive or larger, heavier and cheaper (referring to lenses only here of course)
        There are other factors involved like ‘normal 35mm view’ focal lengths are simpler (cheaper) to make than wide angles or telephotos so what is telephoto on one system might be normal on another (45mm m43 v 85mm FF)
        Also assembly costs due to tighter tolerances will be higher on m43 as part of the requirement to produce better lenses.
        It is noticeable that the FF lenses that do match m43 lenses in performance are comparable or higher prices e.g. the F2.8 zooms from Canikon.

        • “the smaller sensor requires more enlargement for an equivalent photo” —— WTF?

          You’re confusing the properties of film with digital sensors. There is really no comparison. 16 megapixels from a m4/3 sensor makes the same size print as 16 megapixels from a MF sensor or 35mm sensor or APS-C sensor.

          Back to school for you.

          • Anonymous

            Not true. You still have to display the final picture, whether print or screen, and the smaller the sensor the more it will have to be enlarged to vview the same size output.
            If you look at the various lens tests that are done they often quote l/ph (lines per picture height) and (l/pm lines per mm ) when discussing lens resolution.
            FF usually wins the l/ph but m43 is usually better with the l/pm as it has to be scaled up more in the final display.

        • Anonymous

          “It is equivalent in DOF and light gathering”

          DOF? yes (through at 25mm compared to 50mm for 135 format, there is already a noticeable difference in distribution in front/behind the subject, but total amount is the same).

          Light gathering?

          See, a lens does not at all care how much you crop the image behind it, nor about if you do that by means of the sensor or later in pp. The total amount of light gathered by the lens does not change due to this either, so what you say here is absolute and total nonsense.

          No sir, it is the sensor cropping that USES less of the light due to smaller surface area. The ‘light gathering’ thing is a sensor thing, and not at all a lens thing.

          Mathematically, the reason is called inverse square law. See, a 25mm 1.4 may have a smaller entrance pupil then a 50/1.4, but it also sits at half the distance. Those 2 things happen to exactly cancel eachother out, and the total amount of light passing through is exactly the same.

          But but.. m4/3 lenses are made for smaller sensors so they let through less light. Now, that is true to some extent, but only for the area outside the image circle, and know what? this is actually a good thing as it reduces the amount of stray light that can cause flare issues, but that has little to do with the light gathering of the lens as such and everything with cutting off unused light.

          If what you say were true, then putting a 24/2.8 lens on a full frame camera and pointing it at a huge white area will give a totally different exposure from putting a 50/2.8 on that same camera and pointing it at that same area (with identical illumination). Now guess what, it doesn’t.

          So in short, the ‘lens gathers more light’ argument is bullshit and a clear sign of you not having the slightest clue of what you are talking about, rather, you are just repeating the lies of a fool frame marketeer.

      • Actually we have a choice.

        Compare the 25mm f1.4 to the 24mm f1.4 lens on a FF system in terms of price

        Compare the 25mm f1.4 to a 50mm f1.4 at 2.8 and 2 stops higher ISO and see which image is sharper.

        FF gurus cant have their cake and eat it. It is either a 1.4 or a 2.8, but the FF camera system actually loses out for DR and ISO noise, colour fidelity etc. when at higher ISOs. So ISO 800 vs 3200 or 1600 vs 6400 the m43rds system has better IQ.

        A fast lens is a fast lens for a reason. The 25mm f1.4 vs a 24mm f1.4 makes the Panasonic leens look like a bargain. The 25mm f1.4 vs a 50mm f2.8 on a FF system makes the FF camera look far too overpriced.

        • Shenkie

          Youre funny.

      • Anonymous

        ….but Shankie….you are a lie……

  • Quiquelbola

    Really nice lens. I need more reviews and comparations with primes. Is tempting to replace 12mm f.2 25 1.4 pl and 45mm 1.8 not the oly 17.1.8 for me this lens is essential for street shooting and shooting from the hip or the75 mm 1.8. Not sure at all I think light and small primes are more into the m 4/3 concept than any zoom.
    Ill wait and see but I suspect this lens is not for me.

  • ken666

    No,No,No it is neither lying or cheating.

    F1.4 is not cheating, still all f1.4 light gathering lenses, not talking about DOF, just sharpness. It beats them all

    The fact remains at F1.4 Pany is the best sharpness, no one actually cares about the FF DOF but wider DOF is just another advantage we have, especially on the telephoto lenses to me.

    The thin DOF you FF guys get is no use to me or probably other M43 photogs as we already know all arguments, and we still buy into it.

    Same old story you do your research, you spend your money, your choice.

    Surprising isn’t it for all short comings of M43 we are always being told about and yet lots of people are still buying into the system.

  • Nikon shooter Not !!!

    “yet lots of people are still buying into the system.”

    Nope another huge wishful thinking myth look at the sales numbers The entire mirror-less market Olympus/Panasonic/Sony/Fuji/Canon M /Nikon1 accounts for just 17% of the world wide interchangeable lens camera sales.With 83% being DSLR, world wide mFT has about 40% of this mirror-less market so mFT market share is 6.8% of that maybe 60% is Olympus 40% Panasonic .That gives Olympus the kings of the castle allegedly :-)a huge whopping 4.08% of the global interchangeable camera market.

    No doubt some crazy guys here will tell me how his Aunts next door neighbors cousin told him that 90% of the world now uses mFT .With the obvious conclusion being that those mutts at CIPA all work for Canikon and it is a conspiracy to hide the truth .Those amongst you who can read give it a go better bring a box of tissues there will be tears

  • ThePhoBlographer’s shots of the new Olympus 12-40mm lens do not do justice to this excellent optics! Most of the shots were low in contrast and not very sharp. Disappointing!

  • Surab

    @ all:
    Leave Shenkie alone. He is a troll. Don’t feed him…. -.-

    For me as P&S step upper and m43 beginner, the 12-40mm is much more tempting than the primes (except 45mm F1.8 and 60mm F2.8) because I get the 12, 14, (15,) 17, (17,) 19, 20, 25 and 30. I would loose some shallow DOF, light gathering and a bit IQ (depending on the particular prime), but I would gain much more versatility, convinience, 10mm more range, MF clutch for every focal distance, weather sealing and much cheaper than all of them together.

  • There’s a couple of dodgy statements in that test:

    First they say:

    “For starters, you probably don’t want to stop it down beyond f4 or f5.6 because that is where diffraction starts to take place with Micro Four Thirds sensors. Keeping that in mind, that really leaves you with a narrow range of how much you can really stop down: f2.8-f4 is essentially your best bet.”

    The diffraction calculator at says otherwise. Diffraction for a 16 mpx 4/3 sensor kicks in at approximately F8. Saying that diffraction starts at F4 is simply delutional.

    Then they say:

    “The Micro Four Thirds sensors render f2.8 as the equivalent field of view of f4 on a full frame camera–and that is where many of those camera and lens combinations tend to reach their peak.”

    They should at least learn the difference between FOV and DOF! No aperture setting affects FOV. I guess they know that, but such bad expressions in a review just may confuse somebody that has little cross-format experience (let alone none at all).

  • Nelson

    Olympus is offering $200 rebate on E-M1 and 12-40mm for US customer

    • @Nelson: Thank you.

      Whoa! Nice catch. Thanks for the tip.
      I can’t see what the rebates are … is it really $200 of the (a la the MIA USA kit)?
      Does this mean Olympus flip-flopped again about selling the kit stateside? Or perhaps this gives the kit pricing,
      but deals with the shortage of lenses? So kit buyers get the deal, but Oly does not have to dedicate as many lenses to kits?

    • Unfortunately, the form doesn’t seem to work — yet. If you click through to the rebate form, you can add the body or the lens to the form, but not both.

      Still, it’s promising to see the rebate there. Hopefully it doesn’t just disappear…

      • Ouch, I had not noticed neither of the kit forms actually work. Doh.
        Let’s hope Oly fixes that so we can get the kit discount in North America (USA/Canada) even if we don’t get them boxed together (for another 6+ months).

        At least the accessory form seems to work (body plus: flash, or MMF-3).

  • Berni


    Yes the 12-40mm is a very interesting lens and will have wide appeal. It cannot replace my 20mm F1.7 Panasonic due to the small size of that lens.

    I will buy one at some stage to replace my 14-45mm. We all like to use nice equipment if we can afford to. It just adds to the experience and enjoyment of photography.


  • Marc

    I’m probably one of the tiny fraction of people more interested in the review of the 14-150mm. I’ve been wanting a wide-range zoom to use as an all-purpose vacation/video lens when quality isn’t the top concern, and was looking at the new Panasonic 14-140 f/3.5. But, after reading that review of the Olympus equivalent, I admit to being a bit tempted. The Olympus isn’t stabilized (but I’m getting an E-M5, so that shouldn’t be a huge issue), and loses a half a stop of aperture, but the sharpness is apparently better at smaller apertures, at least in the middle of the frame, and it’s $100 cheaper new (or $300 cheaper if I get a refurb).

    I’m reluctant to give up the aperture and stabilization, but that’s a lot of money. Has anybody used both of these?

    • Surab

      I am also interested in the superzoom lenses, but I think that the Pana is the better choice:
      it is brighter (F3.5-5.6 vs F4.0-5.6), shorter but wider (75mm x 67mm vs. 83mm x 63.5mm), lighter (265g vs. 290g) and it has an included lens hood and the Power OIS, if one feels that would be better in some situation or on Pana bodies.

      The downside is its price. That is why the G6 + 14-140 kit is so tempting, although I want the E-M5. (I don’t want the 12-50mm, because I want to add the 12-40 with the next 2 years). :S

      • Anonymous

        You could get a 12-50 + 40-150 kit with your E-M5… It won’t cost you an arm, and you’ll still use the 40-150 with your 12-40 when you’ll be able to afford it (in 2 years ;) ).

        • Surab

          I never thought about that combo, although I read that the 40-150 is pretty good. I wasn’t considering anything like that because I wanted the convenience of the superzoom.

          • Anonymous

            In fact I’m in the same situation you are :)

            A superzoom (14-150) is convenient, but if you plan to buy a 12-40 later anyway, you’ll have to swap 12-40 and 14-150 depending on your usage…
            Even if not sold as kit, I think the combo is cheaper:
            14-150 is ~500€
            12-50 is ~300€
            40-150 is ~ 150€

            I wish sigma would produce a nice budget superzoom, but it’s really unlikely :(

            • Surab

              The problem is that you can get the G6 with 14-140 for 900€ which is much less then 1100€ for the E-M5 and 12-50 and 150€ fpr 40-150… :S

              But on the other hand I don’t like the feeling of G6 body, really plastic-likd and cheap to the touch. I would sell that one in the future most probably… Too much choice!!! XD

              But your “kit” seems to be an appropriate alternative. Thanks. :D

  • m43 newb / dumb question: does the AF and IS on olympus lenses work on panasonic cameras?

    • reff9

      AF: yes
      IS: Olympus does not have IS in the lens, for Olympus IS is built in to the body (camera).Therefore:
      Olympus m4/3 lenses work OK on Olympus bodies with AF and IS
      Olympus m4/3 lenses work OK on Panasonic bodies with AF.

      IS becomes “neccessary” when using slow shutter speeds, which in turn is determined by the reach of the lens being used. (i.e. a 24mm lens can be used at a slower shutter speed to avoid operator-induced movement blur without IS, compared to say a 100mm telephoto lens).

      • so they work, but i’ve got a GH3 and i’ve yet to use a non-manual lens with it. i’ve read the AF is fast with the panny glass, but is it also fast with the olympus glass? i’ve been looking into buying a lens for my GH3 with AF and IS although i’ve read the panny glass, despite doing both, aren’t good for video for a number of significant reasons. is there a lens that is ideal for shooting still AND video for the GH3…something with both quick AF and IS?

        • Paul Latouche

          I’d say Lumix 35-100mm f2.8 would be the best.
          The new 14-140mm wouldn’t be too bad, say for simple documentary in good light (forget low light and shallow DOF).
          Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 for video has some serious issues considering the price.

          Both 14-140mm and 12-35mm would flicker while zooming (even with “constant” f value, aperture changes as you zoom). Apparently the 35-100mm does NOT flicker.

          With 12-35mm, you sometime get shaky video on tripod at low angle.
          All are focus by wire, with no hard stops and no possibility to use focus marks.

          For normal FL zoom, perhaps your best bet could be that Oly 12-40mm. We know that in manual focus mode it has hard stops. We don’t know about any flickering issue while zooming up to now, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. And of course we know you wouldn’t get IS on any Panasonic body in video mode.

          Conclusion: nothing is perfect yet.

  • Here are some photos sample of EM1 and 12-40 f2.8 from a Hong Kong website:

    • Thanks for sharing :) Those samples really give you a good idea how good this lens is! Love the buttery bokeh and the sharpness!

  • idefixx

    anyone knows a pre-order site for the EM1 / 12-40 in switzerland?

  • Jens

    Suddenly I do not feel that bad about buying the panasonic 12-35 f2.8 last winter. It is 80 g lighter than the new Olympus, smaller and has IS and weather sealing. It fits nicely on my Olympus EPM-2 and now with the V4 finder (which is fantastic) is very small indeed and not very heavy to carry the whole day for when you need a zoom. It has taken me almost a year to really see how great this lens is. I had the idea from the start that it was just a zoom and it could not be as good as my prime lenses (like the 75mm f1,8) but it is really good whit a very nice drawing (character). Mr. MR on LL tested it and found it as good as the Ol 43 Olympus 12-60. Now if the Olympus is even better – and cheaper you are pretty lucky!

  • El Aura

    It’s interesting that the 12-40 mm f/2.8 is only 1 mm longer the 12-50 mm f/3.5-f/6.3 (though thicker and almost twice as heavy). This makes the 12-40 mm f/2.8 positively compact (or the 12-50 mm quite long for what it offers). How often do we see a lens that is two stops faster (at the long end, let’s assume the 12-40 mm is f/5.6 at 40 mm) but has the same length.

    • Anonymous

      The 12-50 has internal zoom, the 12-40 doesn’t. Internal zoom makes lenses longer.

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